Emil Chronicle Online Original Soundtrack

Emil Chronicle Online Original Soundtrack Album Title:
Emil Chronicle Online Original Soundtrack
Record Label:
Avex Trax
Catalog No.:
AVCD-17943
Release Date:
March 23, 2006
Purchase:
Buy at CDJapan

Overview

Launching in 2005, GungHo’s Emil Chronicle Online is a fantasy MMORPG that is moderately popular across Asia. ACE, composed of CHiCO and Tomori Kudo, created a range of music for the game’s debut. The Emil Chronicle Online Original Soundtrack features these tracks on a single disc. While it captures the organic sound of the game’s world brilliantly, note that plenty of new music has been created for the game’s updates over the last six years. Compilations are now available featuring all the franchise’s tracks that essentially make this original release obsolete. Nevertheless, let’s look at ACE’s musical vision for the original game.

Body

“FAR AND AWAY” opens the album, setting the mood for the game’s lighthearted, yet vast and expansive universe. The track ebbs and flows through strings that build and recede in the background, as a pan flute plays a simple, yet attractive melody. In similar vein, “The world of curiosity” sounds almost like what one would find in a visual novel. Its lighthearted pan flute, quick beat, and melancholic melody all explore the various flavours of Emil Chronicle Online‘s world. “Beyond the Destiny” is also captivating, with its exciting guitar and evocative accordion melody, both of which are excellently written and implemented.

A range of tracks enhance the locations of Emil Chronicle Online further. “Sea of Sand” is a rather typical desert area, albeit more enjoyable than most. Meanwhile “Ceaseless Conflict” sounds suitable for ancient ruins, with a tribal beat and jungle noises, which augment the simple melody. “Dance to the breeze” is a fun piece, seemingly fit for a farm, with its pleasant banjo and accordion. “Dance in the Shadows” meanwhile has a tribal sort of sound, from its drum beat to its kazoo, though it’s difficult exactly to pin down its exact style. The piece sounds unfocused and bizarre on paper, yet somehow it works in reality. Evidently, ACE were daring enough to experiment and competent enough to pull it off here.

There are nevertheless some softer ambient additions to the soundtrack. Going far north, “Alone in the snowstorm” is much more subdued than the abovementioned themes, with its mysterious glockenspiel and synth voices, which lend it an eerie atmosphere. The addition of electric guitar halfway through is brilliantly handled. Even eerier, however, is “Snow Mirage,” with its reversed strings and repetitive glockenspiel, laying a gentle yet ominous soundscape, which is only enhanced by the soft female vocals that show up soon. Venturing into the dungeons, “Phantasmagoria” is also eerily beautiful, with its rising and sinking melody on the piano, layered with synth voices.

Also available as a single, the vocal theme “Hold on to Love (Heartful Edition)” is a bonus on the first soundtrack release for the franchise. With a soft pop arrangement by Greenwich Fields and youthful female vocals from Aiko Kayo, it certainly captures the adventurous spirit of the franchise. However, the melody is a little too bland to be worth repeated listened. What’s more, the stylings are too superficial for my tastes, especially the backing vocals. I much prefer ACE’s own vocal themes for the series.

Summary

The Emil Chronicle Online Original Soundtrack certainly captures the essence of the series with its scenic focus and organic flavours. ACE did a good job defining the MMORPG, while staying quite close to convention. However, keep in mind that the 20 or so tracks here are just a small selection of what the franchise has to offer. In the six years since its release, ACE have composed four discs of music for the franchise, which are compiled together in the Emil Chronicle Online 6th Anniversary Soundtrack. While this initial release is good for newcomers, hardcore fans and completists are better off going for the full compilation.

Emil Chronicle Online Original Soundtrack Marc Friedman

Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!

3.5


Posted on August 1, 2012 by Marc Friedman. Last modified on August 1, 2012.


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